41-50 Top 100 Golf Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

Golf Monthly's full list of the UK and Ireland's Top 100 courses

Ballybunion Golf Club Old Course with the top 100 UK and Ireland logo
(Image credit: Evan Schiller / Ballybunion Golf Club)

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41-50 Courses


The Berkshire GC Red Course par-3 10th hole pictured

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location: Ascot, Berkshire, England
  • Founded: 1928
  • Designed by: Herbert Fowler
  • Green fee: £145-£300
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 1

The Red Course is an example of one of the very best heathland golf courses in the land and opened for play in the late 1920s. It has an unusual and intoxicating configuration consisting of six of each par.

Only at the 11th and 12th do you play the same par consecutively, and this constant variety is more than matched by the design characteristics of the individual holes themselves.

- The Berkshire Red review and key info


Formby Golf Club

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location: Formby, Merseyside, England
  • Founded: 1884
  • Designed by: Willie Park Jr, James Braid and Harry Colt
  • Green fee: £185-£260
  • 23/24 ranking: Down 1

On a coastline packed with top-drawer golf, Formby is one of the very best with the bonus that it contains elements of both links and heathland.

Founded in 1884, this forward-thinking club is also future-proofing its original course which was redesigned by Willie Park Junior in the early 20th-century before further Braid, Colt and Donald Steel changes.

- Formby review and key info


Prestwick Golf Club 2nd hole

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Founded: 1851
  • Designed by: Old Tom Morris
  • Green fee: £195-£345
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 1

Much has changed at Prestwick since it hosted the first of its 24 Opens in 1860, but its wonderfully, rumpled terrain still provides a tangible link with the challenge those early Open competitors faced.

It is both historically significant yet still hugely relevant and great fun. That is Prestwick’s charm.

- Prestwick review and key info


Rosapenna Sandy Hills pictured along the coastline

(Image credit: Larry Lambrecht)
  • Location: Rosapenna, Donegal, Ireland
  • Founded: 2003 
  • Designed by: Pat Ruddy
  • Green fee: €125-€150
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 2

The Pat Ruddy designed Sandy Hills Course at Rosapenna opened in 2003 but has a feel of a layout that has existed much longer.

Carved through the dunes, it’s a supremely natural layout and a great example of sympathetic modern course design. It’s a course of nuances and subtlety with green complexes featuring some challenging slopes and falloffs.

- Rosapenna Sandy Hills review and key info


Royal Cinque Ports from above

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)
  • Location: Deal, Kent, England
  • Founded: 1892
  • Designed by: Harry Hunter and James Braid
  • Green fee: £125-£210
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 8

This two-time Open venue follows a broadly out-and-back routing with one or two deviations, including an Old Course-style loop at the far end.

The outward nine hugs the sea wall closely in places, and the course has benefitted hugely from Martin Ebert’s judicious and selective design touch in recent years.

- Royal Cinque Ports review and key info


Western Gailes

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Founded: 1897
  • Designed by: Fred Morris and Fred Hawtree
  • Green fee: £125-£280
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 1

Set on a sliver of linksland, Western Gailes is the epitome of a true Scottish links. This venerable old layout's Firth of Clyde setting brings splendid views across to Arran as the course heads first north, then south for nine shoreside holes and finally north again.

There are mischievously placed natural-style bunkers plus several inconveniently located burns to negotiate along the way.

- Western Gailes review and key info

Trump International Golf Links Ireland

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Doonbeg, County Clare, Ireland
  • Founded: 2002
  • Designed by: Greg Norman
  • Green fee: €75-€375
  • 23/24 ranking: Down 4

Set amidst the incredible dunes overlooking Doughmore Bay in County Clare, Greg Norman’s brilliant layout at Doonbeg has been further enhanced by Martin Hawtree since the Trump Organisation took over in 2014.

It’s a spectacular setting for golf and this fabulous layout makes the very most of the stunning surroundings. It’s a modern classic.

- Trump Doonbeg review and key info


Tralee par 3 pictured

(Image credit: Evan Schiller)
  • Location: Barrow West, County Kerry, Ireland
  • Founded: 1984
  • Designed by: Arnold Palmer
  • Green fee: €180-€275
  • 23/24 ranking: No change

Sea, sand and mountains form the gorgeous backdrop to Arnold Palmer’s magical creation.

The striking 2nd doglegs sharply around the cliffs, and the par-3 3rd hugs the rocky shoreline precariously but things really ramp up coming home, with the spectacular 12th and 13th followed by a stirring three-hole shoreside run from 15.

- Tralee review and key info


The 15th hole at Royal St David's Golf Club

(Image credit: Geoff Ellis)
  • Location: Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales
  • Founded: 1894
  • Designed by: Harold Finch-Hatton and William Henry More
  • Green fee: £60-£145
  • 23/24 ranking: Down 4

This tough, old-school links has hosted many important championships and sits overlooked by the brooding Harlech Castle.

It is separated from the beach by towering dunes which may provide some protection from the wind, but don’t bank on it!  A strong but very fair links defined by some stretching par 4s - easily one of the very best golf courses in Wales.

- Royal St David's review and key info


Gleneagles - Queen's Course - Hole 13

(Image credit: Getty Images)
  • Location: Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland
  • Founded: 1917
  • Designed by: James Braid
  • Green fee: £80-£450
  • 23/24 ranking: Up 8

It may be a relatively short track by modern standards, but the Queen’s delivers a complete test of golf to put it up there with some of the very best golf courses in Scotland.

It’s long been a favourite at Gleneagles and recent works have greatly enhanced what was already a tremendous course in terms of both aesthetics and playability. Set on the high ground of the Gleneagles Estate, the views are phenomenal.

- Gleneagles Queen's review and key info

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

With contributions from